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Tricia Derges is accused of fraudulently receiving CARES Act funds, according to acting U.S. Attorney Teresa Moore's office.
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Tricia Derges is accused of fraudulently receiving CARES Act funds, according to acting U.S. Attorney Teresa Moore's office.

State Rep. Derges faces additional charges

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State Rep. Tricia Derges, a health care clinic and nonprofit operator, is facing additional charges after being indicted for alleged federal crimes in February.

A superseding indictment was returned under seal by a federal grand jury on March 23, according to a news release. Derges, of Nixa, now is facing 23 counts, up from 20 previously, according to a news release from the office of Teresa Moore, acting U.S. attorney for the Western District of Missouri.

In the new charges, Derges, 63, is accused of allegedly receiving Coronavirus Aid, Relief and Economic Security Act funds through fraudulent means.

Derges' Springfield nonprofit Lift Up Someone Today in December received nearly $300,000 in CARES Act funding after applying for the grant money from the Greene County Commission, according to the release.

The indictment alleges Derges falsely submitted invoices for over 3,000 COVID-19 tests conducted by Dynamic DNA Laboratories LLC to support the grant request for Lift Up Someone Today. Prosecutors say the tests actually were conducted for her for-profit Ozark Valley Medical Clinic Inc. practice, for an alleged total of 6,177 COVID-19 tests. According to the indictment, Derges’ clinic already had received payment from its clients of approximately $517,000 for the COVID-19 tests – charged at a rate of approximately $167 per sample for the testing services, for an alleged total of $1 million.

Derges allegedly concealed from Greene County that the COVID-19 tests already had been paid for, according to the indictment.

The indictment calls the COVID-19 testing services “a financial boon” for the clinic: According to Ozark Valley Medical Clinic bank account records obtained by prosecutors, the daily bank account balance was over $345,000 on Sept. 22, 2020, when the account balance allegedly never exceeded $50,000 between January 2015 and May 2020.

Charges in the original document of alleged wire fraud and illegally providing prescription drugs to clients of her health care clinic are maintained in the new indictment, according to the release.

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